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Review Loopmancer – IGN

Something happens to me as I pour hour after hour into Loopomancer: Roguelites has become so popular that playing a new one has become a kind of meta loop of its own. It can feel like you’re playing a remixed version of the same concept, just with different titles and gimmicks, over and over again – rub, wash, and repeat. To stand out, a game must do something extremely innovative, or differentiate itself by quality and polish. Loopmancer, following in the footsteps of other 2D action platformer roguelites like Fraudulent legacy and Dead cells, opted for the latter – to great success. None of its mechanics are groundbreaking, and the cyberpunk story is – while very entertaining – filled with clichés. But after looping this for almost 20 hours, it’s clear to me that what it lacks in uniqueness it makes up for more than it makes up for by nailing the genre’s most important elements: floating gameplay. turn on and make each run fresh and meaningful.

You play as Xiang Zixu, a generally tough detective in the techno-futurist Dragon City who was killed while investigating a missing person. Immediately after his death, he awoke in his bed, the same morning, and gave the same dispatch to investigate the same missing person. It’s a time-tested and effective loop formula as a prelude to a roguelite. Zixu doesn’t have much in the way of personality, but it’s interesting to hear him impatiently explain to his manager at the detective’s office that he already knew everything was about to happen.

Further progress allows him to piece together interesting details about who pulled the strings and why. There are several branching paths along the way, and following them in succession leads to different story revelations and seven different endings. Even if the answers always seemed to be drawn from Philip K. Dick parodies, they were still happy to watch them unfold.

In particular, Tang Dynasty Hotel stands out with its diverse design.


Cyberpunk settings are used very effectively in creating interesting environments. One minute you’re beating minions across the dirty streets while dodging oncoming traffic, the next minute you’re fighting cyber ninjas in what feels like a modern diversion. of Elevator Action as you search for the correct elevator to get to an office building. In particular, Tang Dynasty Hotel stands out for its diverse design: you must navigate with a grappling hook or elevator in an area and then engage in a large, multi-storey battle in which action is possible only. silhouetted behind hundreds of crimson banners.

Loopmancer Review Screenshot

Each level is divided into subsections with cohesive themes, and they combine each run in small but meaningful ways. Open roads are blocked, while new roads are available. Enemies reshuffle types, powers change positions. A visit to the dilapidated slum known as The Ditch might have you smacking giant spiders with a battle ax while you tiptoe between tripods. Then you die, come back again, shooting giant mutants while trying not to fall into the electrified water. It’s enough to keep Loopmancer feeling fresh for a while.

Combat is quick and aggressive. Melee weapons like swords and hammers combine with ranged attacks like shotguns or laser beams to deal damage, while dodges and defenses add flexibility to exchanges. Tech items, like turrets or mines, can be deployed and special attacks in the form of Chip Skills can end combat instantly but come with a cooldown timer. Enemies come in many varieties, and their design has an important influence on how best to approach them. Your melee weapon can quickly take down a regular street gang member, but the skilled boxer right behind him will shrug at your attacks and counterattacks. Putting all your best attacks on the giant mutant sounds like a good idea… until you’re surrounded by poisonous spiders. Sometimes all you can do when you’re surrounded by invisible ninjas is start shooting and hope you hit something – ideally not a crate of dynamite you don’t realize you’re standing in. .

Enemies come in many varieties, and their design has an important influence on how best to approach them.


The best way to survive varies according to the weapons and tools you have and the type and number of enemies attacking you. As a result, heavy combat becomes an intricate dance of a mix of attacks with quick twitch dodges, all while making quick decisions about when to use ammo. and your limited tech items. It excites and keeps the experience fresh throughout.

With nearly 50 melee weapons and dozens of firearms, tech skills, and abilities, the wide variety of tools at your disposal have a range very similar to your arsenal in Dead Cells. I’ve clashed with swords, staffs, fists, big fish, golf clubs, frying pans, and more as my primary weapons, and they all have unique properties and animations. makes them possible. The decision to carry it with you is rarely black and white: You might be tempted to bring a grenade launcher into combat because of its sheer explosive damage, but that poison-spraying SMG has more ammo. Sure, a crowd-clearing grenade can get you to the boss, but those deployable automatic turrets will be a big help when it’s time for that big skirmish.

You’ll probably want to bring a grenade launcher into combat for its sheer explosive damage, but that poison-spewing SMG has a lot more ammo.


Speaking of big battles, the variety of bosses is one of Loopmancer’s strong points. Most levels feature challenging battles against unique enemies with patterns to memorize and attack windows to learn. Previous bosses, like Big Guy, are easy enough to defeat with well-timed dodges and attacks, while others, like an AI-powered hacker, unfold like puzzles and real benefit from the careful selection of the right tools prior to combat. A boss fight against a man in a mech suit ended many of my early runs, but then that encounter turned into a speed race as I memorized his attack patterns and gleefully unleashing righteous fury with whatever weapon I have at my disposal. I found the battles tough but fair, and the first time I beat the final boss (which I won’t spoil), I could feel my heart pounding and my forehead start to sweat.

Weapons and abilities are largely found scattered throughout the levels and can be unlocked and upgraded by spending e-Coins, a currency – in the true video game tradition – fly away from defeated enemies and broken vases or crates. When you die, you’ll lose all your gear and have to start over from a random assortment, but the unlocks and upgrades are permanent, and it’s likely that these new weapons will be among the choices. your pick at the start of the next round. After struggling to beat them for the early hours, there was an overwhelming satisfaction in tearing apart an early level boss with a maxed out late game rocket launcher.

On top of that, Zixu has its own persistence upgrade tree where you can boost your health, unlock new combat moves, or buy new cosmetic skins. Alternatively, you can dump your upgrade cores into terminals scattered throughout the levels to increase their resiliency. This shows you another decision to make: Are you focused on your next upgrade to power up future runs or are you focused on this?

Optional challenges appear on screen throughout levels, prompting you to kill a certain number of enemies or eliminate them in a specific way. It’s completely optional, but their rewards can be well worth your time. Sure, you’ve probably cut these goons apart dozens of times already, but can you get them out with a crate of dynamite, or throw them into traffic for some extra cash on the side? Maybe you’ll earn a memento that you can revisit in your apartment to build additional worlds. It’s an extra layer of intrigue, but naturally it can easily lead to needless deaths if you go too far from what’s right for your gear and playstyle.

This risk-reward calculation is an ongoing part of the progress through Loopmancer (and any good roguelite site). A prime example is that each group of levels will have a definite exit, but many levels will also reward exploration (assuming you don’t die in the process). Friend maybe Go through the elevator to get to the boss, but there are potential Buff Bots to be found if you’re willing to climb some chandeliers or brave oncoming trains to reach a hidden platform. These are summoner spells that can boost your health, increase the damage you deal, and increase the speed at which you can use skills, among other things, for the duration of your run. Some will be hidden, others will be easily visible but surrounded by enemies. Of course, your chances to recharge your health are limited, so every hit you take seriously affects your chances of survival. More than once I’ve found myself torn apart, at the crossroads between moving on to the sequel and chasing a Buff Bot in a dangerous position. Those are the moments that make games like this shine even outside of teamfights, and Loopmancer has no shortage of them.

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